The high rate of chloroquine resistant malaria in Papua New Guinea has resulted in a change in the health department’s policy on malaria treatment. The first line treatment used to be chloroquine plus Fansidar but it is no longer. The new first line treatment is lumefantrine (I think, need to confirm). An artemisinin based combination therapy. I am not sure if Fansidar is will be used or not.
I have had a difficult time trying to obtain the document outlining this new health department malaria treatment protocol.
I was told the new treatment protocol was changed two years ago but the health department has not bought the drugs yet. However, the training for the new treatment has already begun. Some health workers had training last year and some are having their training this month. What I find frustrating is that changes in standard treatment protocols is slow in reaching the rural heath posts and district hospitals in PNG. First of all, I think all medical doctors in PNG should have a copy of any new health department treatment protocols as soon as it is approved for use in hospitals and health centres. The department should have a data base of all doctors in PNG and know where exactly they are and if they are moving they should be able to know where they are working next. Regardless of whether they are working in the public system of in private industries. By disseminating information such as new treatment protocols in a timely manner means treatment is standardised as soon as changes occur. Furthermore, all documents such as the health plan or treatment protocols should be kept on the department website and must be easily downloadable. The department must move with technology and take advantage of advances in ICT.
I have now been referred to the provincial health office to obtain a copy of the new malaria treatment protocol. Shouldn’t the health department also issue copies to all hospital doctors and district hospital based medical doctors too? I must say I am quite disappointed!
A few posts ago I wrote about the National Health Plan. A few of my readers wanted an electronic copy but there was not any. Of if there was, we do not know where to obtain one. Again the first place to check would be the health department website. Is is there? Someone can notify me when it is there for download.
Thanks to my friends at WHO office in Port Moresby, I receive updates as wells new treatment protocols from WHO on HIV treatment and policy from their Port Moresby office via email. You might be interested in the new estimation data for PNG on HIV and AIDS. You can download it below:
Unfortunately my search for electronic copies of the National Health Department Health Plan has been unsuccessful.
But I promise to put it on my blog for download as soon as I get it.